Lung inflammation and infection are common findings in bronchoscopies of young children (aged below 6 years) with cystic fibrosis. While we know that these are indicators of lung disease, we don't know whether they are temporary and resolve without consequence, or whether they directly result in damage to the lung. In this study we compared the number of times infection and inflammation were found in the lung in early childhood to the amount of lung damage seen on CT scans. We found that the more times inflammation and infection were detected, the worse the lung damage is. Therefore, we have shown that repeated bouts of inflammation and infection lead to cumulative, long-term lung disease, with inflammation having a strong effect. This is clear evidence to advocate for trials of anti-inflammatory therapies in young children with CF.
Authors: Tim Rosenow, L. Clara Mok, Lidija Turkovic, Luke J. Berry, Peter D. Sly, Sarath Ranganathan, Harm A.W.M. Tiddens, Stephen M. Stick.
Published in the European Respiratory Journal in July 2019.